Why Train With Us!

Dominion MMA--BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, Judo, Sambo and more.

San Antonio, Texas is home to one of the best-kept secrets in mixed martial arts. Dominion MMA has been in business for 10 years and is located on the NW side of San Antonio, Texas at 9910 W Loop 1604 N Ste 109.

Dominion MMA has developed local, regional and national MMA champions which include Roy Sarabia, Angel Cruz, Jose Holguin, and Jose Castaneda to name a few. In the last 10 years, Dominion MMA has competed against top local academies that include Ohana Academy and Rodrigo Pinheiro BJJ and has beat both schools in the octagon fighting for the now-defunct PCG or Premiere Combat Group.

Dominion MMA trains a variety of mixed martial arts that includes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Judo, Sambo, and Hayastan Grappling.

Each of these disciplines combined allows the student to master a variety of fighting styles under one roof eventually allowing them to become an MMA fighter and ultimately fight for organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship or what is commonly referred to as the UFC.

Becoming a UFC fighter is what head Coach Rey Rodriguez strives to develop at his MMA gym. He has trained for over 43 years and is the head MMA coach at Dominion MMA. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and according to him age is just a number.

Coach Rodriguez believes that training MMA is the ultimate system for self defense because the student will learn to kick, punch, throw, and grapple and this becomes the norm in training. In fact, he encourages his students to always follow the fights at UFC fight night so they can see the real applications of mma fighting.

But you do not have to be a fighter to train at Dominion MMA. Dominion MMA will teach and train anyone that wants to learn. How cool is that? If you walk into Dominion MMA at any time you will see athletes mixed with housewives, college students, professionals, police officers, and anyone that wants to learn MMA. This gym trains everyone and the atmosphere is amazing. It’s energetic, people are smiling and people are laughing and having a great time.

When you visit Dominion MMA you will see that all the coaches are approachable and are always willing to provide any kind of information that you may need in your pursuit of MMA training. Coach Rodriguez personally handpicks all the coaches at his gym and if a coach is gone from his gym it is because they failed to put the needs of the student ahead of their own needs. Coach Rodriguez believes that serving your students is the number one priority for being a successful coach. Folks, he is the real deal. On average Coach Rodriguez works eighty hours a week at his MMA gym.

If you are ready to start training MMA at Dominion MMA you can sign up for a 3-day FREE trial by visiting their website at DominionMMA.com or call them direct at 210.560.0662

Train like an MMA Fighter

Train like an MMA Fighter

Roy Sarabia is the most successful MMA fighter in San Antonio
Roy Sarabia is the most successful MMA fighter in San Antonio

So you want to train like a professional MMA fighter? Be careful what you wish for, it’s not as easy as it seems. It’s no secret that professional MMA fighters are some of the most badass athletes in the world. This is a simple fact, many people don’t have the courage to step into an MMA gym let alone the UFC octagon to fight another human being.

It might come as no surprise that many professional MMA fighters possess a huge range of abilities outside of fighting, this includes having superior strength, power, and endurance. Even less of a surprise is that many UFC athletes were previously military members or D1 college athletes. Don’t worry if you don’t have the athleticism of a professional MMA fighter, it doesn’t mean you can’t train like one.

If you have dreams of becoming a professional MMA fighter or if you just want to train like an MMA badass, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you the steps to train as an MMA fighter and have you shredded and throwing round-house kicks in no time. Although you won’t become an MMA badass overnight, if you follow our step-by-step guide and remain consistent, anything is possible.

1. Choose Your Martial Art

If you want to train like a professional MMA fighter, you’re going to have to pick a martial art to learn. I know this may seem confusing at first, but MMA actually stands for “Mixed Martial Arts,” which is a combination of various martial arts. You can’t just expect to learn MMA overnight, it takes many professional fighters decades to master certain types of martial arts. However, a few months of consistent MMA training can do wonders for your body.

If you want to become an MMA fighter and you’re confused about which martial art you would like to train, we have a guide that outlines the best fighting styles for MMA. There is a huge difference between martial arts for combat purposes and martial arts for more of a traditional purpose. Although you may find inner peace doing kung-fu, that inner peace won’t be so useful when someone tries to fight in you in the street.

Although choosing your first martial art can be very stressful, I want you to know that your ideas and opinions will change so rapidly that you may initially start training Taekwondo and realize that you’re more suited for another martial art like Muay Thai.

I myself started training Muay Thai because I wanted a way to defend myself and get in great shape. Although I was very nervous for my first Muay Thai class, I eventually realized that Muay Thai was a tool that can allow me to achieve so much more in my life. I was much more confident after staying consistent with my training over time.

If you’re someone who is simply looking to just get in shape, then cardio kickboxing is a great way to accomplish that. If you’ve never trained cardio kickboxing then you’re in for a real treat. It’s much more exciting than the typical cycle or pilates workout and helps you burn much more calories. MMA can also be great for self-defense and confidence.

2. Join a Gym.. or Build One

Although this step isn’t completely necessary, joining an MMA gym will definitely enhance your training experience. Almost all professional fighters practically live in the gym because they usually work as MMA trainers on the side. Although MMA is usually more expensive than your typical weight-lifting gym membership, MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gyms are becoming relatively inexpensive because there are so many options, typically you can find an MMA gym for less than $100.

If no gyms in your area work with your schedule, or if you just don’t want to join an MMA gym, you could also create your own gym at home. I created my own MMA gym at home in my garage and it was the best thing I ever did. It’s great to be able to work out whenever I want without membership fees or time constraints.

It’s actually quite common for MMA fighters to train in “home gym” environments. This type of home workout is pretty common for MMA fighters because they travel so frequently and sometimes have to train outside of the typical gym setting. Most professional MMA fighters are traveling so much that they have to shadow box in their hotel room for hours on end or run on a treadmill to burn off those last few pounds before weigh-ins.

3. Start Slow

Don’t start hitting the heavy bag just yet, it’s best to ease into MMA training with simple endurance workouts. Start by jumping rope or doing some jumping jacks for 10 minutes before your workout. This will help loosen and warm up your muscles while preparing your body for the intense workout you’re about to put it through. Jumping rope is one of the most basic warmups that nearly all MMA fighters implement into their training routine.

I recommend jumping rope before and after every workout, this will help both warming up and cooling down. Also, jumping rope enhances footwork and hand-eye coordination. If you’ve ever been to a high school wrestling event then you’ve probably seen wrestling jump rope before they compete. This is because it warms your body up and allows your body to get into a comfortable rhythm.

It’s important to remember that professional MMA fighters such as Conor McGregor and Jon Jones didn’t get good overnight. These fighters have spent years training day and night in the gym. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed at first, you’ll never learn without failure. “Defeat is the secret ingredient to success” – Conor McGregor

4. Shadow Boxing is Your Friend

The great thing about shadow boxing is that it’s something that can be done anywhere and anytime. I personally have found shadow boxing to be the most beneficial part of my warm-up because it allows me to be creative with my strikes. I recommend fighters to start shadow boxing for 5-minute intervals while gradually increasing the minute’s overtime. Although it might seem boring at first if you want to train like a professional MMA fighter you must involve shadow boxing into your workout.

If you want to enhance your shadowboxing use a mirror and see what happens when you change your technique. Not only is shadow boxing great for footwork and technique, but it’s also a killer cardio workout. I shadowbox every single day in the morning and before each and every MMA workout. Having the ability to stand in front of a mirror while throwing different combinations of punches, knees, kicks, and elbows, is a complete game-changer.

5. Don’t Forget The Heavy Bag!

Who are we kidding ourselves? Eventually, you’ll have to come face to face with the dreadful heavy bag. It’s really not as bad as it seems to be at first, in fact, the heavy bag is one of the most realistic forms of training. I have spent countless hours hitting my training bag at home and it has helped me enhance my overall endurance and technique.

I understand the heavy bag can be daunting, the first time I kicked a heavy bag my shin was swollen for weeks. If you decide to train Muay Thai or MMA, chances are you’ll have to condition your shins as well. This process can be painful at first, however, once you hit the bag a few hundred times it will get much easier. Eventually, you’ll kick the heavy bag so many times that you’ll kill off all of your nerves in your shins. I know this sounds barbaric, and it is, did we mention MMA fighters are badass?

All MMA fighters involve heavy bag training into their workout routine. Hitting a heavy bag is the most realistic type of training an MMA fighter can participate in. A heavy bag will allow a fighter to develop the striking range, power, speed, and even footwork. There are just too many benefits to ignore, to do a proper MMA training session you must implement the heavy bag in your workout. If you’re unsure of how to work out on a heavy bag, we have a special heavy bag workout guide just for you.

6. Finish With The Core

Although there is a lot more to core training than just your common sit-ups, many MMA and Muay Thai fighters are conditioned to do over 300 sit-ups every single day. This is usually done at the end of the training session when your body is already beaten up and bruised. Sit-ups are great for working your ab muscles, however, there is a lot more to your “core muscles” than just your abs.

The amount of power behind your kicks, punches, knees, and elbows, are all dependent on the strength of your core. This is why MMA fighters always workout their core muscle groups. There are so many core workouts out there that it would be impossible to name all of them. I recommend constantly switching up your workouts so that your body is always challenged. One day do sit-ups and the next day do box jumps, always adapt and keep your body sharp and conditioned.

Roy Sarabia is the most successful MMA fighter in San Antonio

How to become an MMA Fighter


As promotions such as the UFC continue to explode in popularity, more and more people are looking to take up MMA.

If you’re looking to learn how to start MMA, you’ve come to the right place. There’s a lot of information to digest, especially if you’ve never taken up a martial art before.

With that in mind, we’ve written this guide on how to get into MMA, providing you with all the information and details you need to get started.

 Let’s get to it.

What Does MMA Stand for?

In order to learn how to become a MMA fighter, you’re going to need to know what it stands for. MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts, which is a term that hasn’t been around for very long.

It’s hard to pin point the exact time in which the term “MMA or Mixed Martial Arts” was created, but the common consensus is that it started with the creation of the UFC.

Check out the video below of the first ever UFC event, which is often deemed as the birth of MMA.

What is MMA?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport, that involves hand to hand combat of two athletes. MMA essentially merges different martial disciplines, into one sport that is governed by it’s own set of rules (which we’ll go over shortly).

As such, a wide array of techniques are used, from elbow strikes, knee, strikes, flying kicks to ground based submissions.

With that in mind, this is one of the most versatile methods of combat and is probably the reason that MMA continues to grow in popularity year after year.

MMA Core Components


Striking is an integral part of MMA and incorporates a number of different elements from different disciplines. Striking is essentially an attack thrown at your opponent with a part of your body.

Punches, kicks, knee and elbow strikes are all permitted in MMA. As such, having a core understanding of striking technique is extremely important, not only so you can throw the strikes yourself, but are able to defend against them.


Grappling is where two fighters have hold of one another, attempt a take down or try to gain a better position.

While strength does help to a certain degree, knowing proper technique will allow you to grapple both offensively and defensively.

As such, suitable time must be spent gaining an understanding of how grappling works, different styles of grappling and how to use it to your advantage.


Submissions are techniques that are performed in order force your opponent to submit.

They can come in the form of joint lock and chokes, and are designed to inflict pain on your opponent so that they must admit defeat.

While this may sound some what brutal, the art of submissions is a slick, technical game heavily influenced by BJJ.

In order to better prepare their students, most MMA gyms will have No-Gi BJJ/ BJJ for MMA classes that focus on how to perform submissions and submission defence.

What Gear Do You Need to Start MMA?

The chances are your gym/ club will have some gear that you can use for your first few lessons. That being said, it isn’t particularly nice using old, worn and sweaty gear week in, week out.

Below is some of the main gear you’ll need to get started in MMA.

Mouth Guard

As MMA is a full contact, combat sport, you’re going to want to protect your pearly whites. A mouth guard is essential for this, especially if you’re planning to spar.

A mouth guard will protect your teeth, prevent your mouth from snapping shut, and could help to prevent against sustaining a concussion.

There are two types of mouth guards that you’ll come across – custom mouth guards and boil & bite mouth guards.

Custom mouth guards require a trip down to the dentist, or a set in which allows you to take a mold of your mouth. These provide the best fit, as they’re tailored towards your specific teeth.

Another alternative is opting for boil and bite mouth guards. These require boiling them so that the plastic becomes malleable, and biting down into them. These don’t fit as well as custom mouth guards, but are much cheaper and get the job done.

If you’re on the hunt for a mouth guard, I recommend checking out our guide on the best mouth guards for MMA.

Rash Guard

While any old t-shirt will do for training, rash guards are typically deemed the best.

Due to the skin on skin contact that takes place when training, skin infections such as ring worm are easily transferrable (and common in martial arts gyms).

A rash guard will act as a barrier between you and someone’s else skin. They will often be lined with anti-microbial properties to prevent bacteria from being spread from one person to another.

Mat burns are also extremely common in martial arts, so having a layer between your skin and the mat helps to reduce this.

Also, a regular t-shirt is unlikely to be able to hold up when training in MMA, especially when it comes to the grappling aspect. The chances are they’ll stretch and tear until they’re unusable.

Rash guards specifically designed for MMA will feature reinforced stitching and be made to endure the tugs and pulls that it’ll endure.

For some great options, head over to out in-depth guide on the best rash guards for MMA and BJJ as well.


Similarly, to rash guards, shorts designed solely for MMA will be your best bet. Regular gym shorts will often lack the flexibility required to allow the wearer to throw high kicks. What’s more, the chances are they won’t have reinforced seems, meaning that they’ll be more likely to tear.

As such, getting a good quality pair for MMA short can often be a wise decision. The good new is that they’re pretty cheap and tend to last a long time.

There’s a couple of different types of MMA shorts that you’ll come across:

Vale Tudo/ Compression Shorts

These are essentially compression shorts (tight fitting) that are usually made from lycra or spandex.

Some of the top compression shorts have a cup compartment, in which you can place your groin protector.

These tend to be the most preferred option, as they allow for unhindered leg flexibility and are deemed the most comfortable.

Board Style Shorts

These look pretty similar to the swimming shorts you see surfers wear and are made from pretty much the same materials.

The only difference is MMA shorts will have a flexible gusset (groin area) and split seems down either leg. This is done in order to allow the wearer maximum leg dexterity and flexibility, which is essential in MMA.

If you’re on the hunt for a good pair of shorts, check out our list of the best shorts for MMA.


This one only really applies if you’re a man, as well, a cup will protect your misters. There are some absolute horror stories about groin injuries, so it’s best to play it safe in that department.

A cup will protect the groin area when you’re training and/or competing. Due to the nature of MMA, and most other martial arts, there’s a good chance a stray limb is going hit your groin at some time or another.

Wearing a cup will protect that area from some pretty nasty injuries, such as a ruptured testicle… ouch.

As always, we’ve got a complete list of the best MMA cups for you to check out if you so wish.

Shin Guards

Shin guards are worn to protect both the wearer and their training partner. Sparring without shin pads is just asking for trouble.

Don’t worry though, these aren’t the type of shin pads you see on the football/ soccer field.

These are much softer and also cover more of the shin, as well as the top of your foot.

Wearing shin pads will make sparring much safer, and the chances are you won’t be allowed to spar without a pair.

Unfortunately, these can cost a bit more than some of the other required gear, but it’s a necessary evil in order to train as safe as possible. Be sure to read out guide on how to choose the best MMA shin guards for more information.


The last item you’re going to need are gloves. There are a number of different types of gloves that can be needed when training in MMA.

MMA gloves themselves are only 4-7oz, which isn’t particularly ideal for sparring, pad work or bag work. As such, traditional boxing gloves are often used when training, as these provide much more padding to the wearers hand.

Plus, if you’re to spar wearing these gloves, you’re going to be making some enemies down the gym pretty quickly.

If you’re looking for some budget friendly gloves to train in, I recommend giving our guide on the best boxing gloves under $100 a read. Similarly, if it’s MMA gloves you’re after, we’ve got list of the top gloves for you to check out.

How to Find a MMA Gym

So, you’ve got the gear, you know you want to start, how do you find a gym to join?

There’s a couple of ways you can go about this.

First, is by a simple Google search. Due to the wonderful magic that is the Google wizards, the results should display some gyms located around your area.

No luck?

Don’t worry, there’s some other resources you can use. For example, there’s websites out there dedicated to finding MMA gyms in your area. I’ll list a some below:

  • Fight Resource (US)
  • Find MMA Gym (US)
  • Martial Arts Near You (UK)

If you’ve exhausted all other methods, try searching on Facebook, which can display some clubs near you that may not have been picked up by Google.

How Much Do MMA Classes Cost?

This is pretty hard to nail down to a specific number, but expect to pay anywhere between $50-$200 a month.

The price of a MMA gym will be determined by the overall quality of the gym, it’s facilities and the quality of staffing team.

What are the Rules of MMA?

MMA is often regarded as a brutish sport where anything goes.

 But, let me tell you…

If you head into a gym, start head-butting, eye-gouging and head stomping, you’re going to have some problems.

MMA rules tend to vary from place to place and the promotion in which is holding the event. That said, I’ll list the typical rules in which MMA follows below:


Fouling in MMA can result in a point being deducted, or with a disqualification if the foul is deemed dangerous enough.

The fouls listed below were taken from the Unified Rules of MMA Conduct, which is the rule set that the UFC abides by.

  • Head-butting the opponent
  • Placing your finger in your opponent’s eye
  • Biting or spitting on the opponent
  • Pulling the opponent’s hair
  • Grab the opponent by the mouth
  • Attacking the opponent’s genital region
  • Intentionally placing a finger in any of the opponent’s orifices
  • Striking with the elbow from top to bottom
  • Grabbing small joints
  • Strike the spine or back of the opponent’s head (to the top of the ear and the crown apex).
  • Striking his kidneys with his heels
  • Any blow to the throat
  • Grasping, pinching, twisting the skin or flesh
  • Grabbing the collarbone
  • Soccer kicking the head of a fallen opponent
  • Applying knees to the head of a fallen opponent
  • Stepping on a fallen opponent
  • Use abusive language in the ring or octagon
  • Use unsportsmanlike conduct that can hurt the opponent
  • Attack an opponent in the interval
  • Attacking an opponent when he is in the care of the umpire
  • Shyness (avoid contact, intentionally drop the mouth guard or simulate contusion)
  • Interference from a cornerman
  • Throwing an opponent out of the fighting area
  • Disrespecting the instructions given by the umpire
  • Intentionally throwing the opponent against the tarp on his head or spine (piledriver)

Aside from that massive list, anything goes!

How do You Win a MMA Fight?

There are 4 ways in which you can win a MMA Fight:

KO/TKO: KO stands for Knock Out, which is where a fighter is knocked unconscious. TKO stands for Technical Knock Out, which is where the referee deems a fighter unable to continue fighting, and steps in to end the fight.

SubmissionA submission is where one fighter forces another to tap by implementing techniques such as chokes or joint locks.

Judges Decision: If a fight ends, and neither fighter has won, the result will be determined by a panel of judges that score the fight on a round by round basis.

Disqualification (DQ): If a fighter performs a foul from this list mentioned above, they can be disqualified. Disqualification rarely happens, with a fighter only being DQ’d if their foul is deemed to be dangerous or intentional.

What are the Weight Classes in MMA?

Below is the list of the different weight divisions that you’ll find in the UFC.

  • Strawweight up to 115 pounds
  • Flyweight  over 115 pounds to 125
  • Bantamweight  over 125 to 135 pounds
  • Women’s Bantamweight  over 125 to 135 pounds
  • Featherweight  over 135 to 145 pounds
  • Lightweight  over 145 to 155 pounds
  • Welterweight  over 155 to 170 pounds
  • Middleweight  over 170 to 185 pounds
  • Light Heavyweight over 185 to 205 pounds
  • Heavyweight  over 205 to 265 pounds


Typically, fights are even 3 or 5 rounds of 5-minutes (for professionals). Amateur fights tend to have short, 3 minute rounds.

Even professionally, fights usually consist of 3, 5 minutes rounds. More often than not, you’ll only see a 5 round fight if it’s the main event, or if it’s a Championship fight.

Frequently Asked MMA Questions

Below are some common questions that are asked by people looking to learn how to get into MMA.

Do I Need to Know Another Martial Art First?

While you technically don’t have to know another martial art, it definitely helps.

This is due to the fact that MMA is so versatile, incorporating elements from a wide array of different martial arts.

Going into MMA with a good understanding of either striking or grappling, is going to greatly improve your learning curve.

That being said, you can definitely take up MMA as your first martial art, especially if you’re dedicated and put the time in to learn the different aspects.

Is MMA Safe?

MMA, much like any other martial art or contact sport is going to come with a certain amount of risk.

Even when training in a safe environment, accidents can happen. Very few people have died competing in MMA, but unfortunately, it has been known to happen.

When deciding whether or not MMA is right for you, the risks definitely need to be weighed up against your desire to learn mixed martial arts.

If you’re looking to learn a hobby and aren’t interesting in competing, then the chances are you won’t get badly hurt.

Most of the time, serious injuries take place in a competitive environment, largely due to the lack of safety equipment such as headgear and shin guards.

Is MMA Good for Girls?

MMA is great for both men and women. Some of the biggest stars to come out of MMA have been women, for example Ronda Rousey.

Plus, women’s MMA continues to rise in popularity and the talent pool continues to increase in size. Take for example, Admanda Nunes, who just became the first woman to be UFC Champion of multiple weight classes at the same time.

To summarise, MMA is definitely a sport in which both sex’s can train and compete.

Is MMA Good for Losing Weight?

MMA training is exceptionally good for losing weight. Martial arts in general are very cardio-intense, so a lot of focus is put on fitness levels during training.

As such, you’re bound to lose weight, providing you’re following a balanced, healthy diet and train on a regular basis.